Election 2019

General election 2019: Tories promise Brexit and Budget in first 100 days

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Media captionPM: 'I absolutely promise' UK out of EU by January

Boris Johnson has promised to pass his Brexit deal and bring a Budget within 100 days if he is elected PM.

The Tory leader said it would include his pledge to raise the National Insurance threshold to £9,500, along with cash for schools and the NHS.

He has pledged a "new government with a new approach" - with a focus on better infrastructure, education and technology.

But Labour said Tories only offered "more of the same failure".

The Lib Dems called the Conservative plans "pure fantasy", while the SNP warned there were seven days left to "lock" Mr Johnson out of Downing Street.

Voters will go to the polls on 12 December for the third election in just over four years.

Mr Johnson said he would set out his wider legislative agenda in a Queen's Speech pencilled in for 19 December if he gets back into No 10.

He promised this would build on the programme that was approved by Parliament as recently as October, but which was then effectively mothballed after MPs voted to back an early election.

And he has committed to bringing his EU withdrawal agreement back for initial approval by MPs before Christmas.

Trade deal deadline

"All we need is a working majority to deliver it. Every single one of our candidates has signed up to this deal," Mr Johnson said.

He said the possibility that a Conservative government could fail to reach a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU by the end of 2020 "simply will not happen".

This 11-month deadline covers the transition period that would follow if the UK left the EU in January, which critics say does not leave enough time to negotiate such a deal and could mean the UK ends up without one.

They include former Tory Justice Secretary - and now independent candidate - David Gauke, who said leaving without a deal would be "disastrous for the prosperity of our country… [making] whole sectors unviable".

But Mr Johnson said the UK was in a "zero-tariff, zero-quota position" already, which would make the talks easier.

He added: "Look at what we achieved in three months with the deal I did".

In an interview with ITV's This Morning, he said a trade deal with the EU was a "very exciting prospect", could be agreed "by the end of next year".

Tory blueprint

Mr Johnson's plan for the first 100 days gives a timetable to a number of his existing pledges from the campaign trail, including:

  • Raising the National Insurance threshold, which the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies says will save workers about £85 per year
  • Ending the automatic release of serious violent and sexual offenders
  • Increasing the amount migrants pay for using the NHS
  • Finalising an agreement with mobile operators over countryside coverage

The Conservatives have also said they would introduce a number of pieces of legislation in the 100-day timeframe to take the first steps on other promises including:

  • A law to raise minimum per pupil funding in schools
  • A law to ensure £33.9bn is put into the NHS each year by 2023
  • A new points-based immigration system
  • The roll-out of gigabit broadband

Mr Johnson vowed that, in government, the Tories would prioritise their plan to raise the National Insurance threshold, as it would deliver a tax cut for "those who need the most help with the cost of living".

But Labour, which is making an announcement of its own on schools funding on Thursday, said the Conservatives' record in office over the past nine-and-a-half years was one of total failure.

"In those days we've seen child poverty soar, rising homelessness, rising food bank use, and violent crime is up too while the NHS has more people waiting for operations, and record staff vacancies," said shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne.

"As the Conservatives approach 3,500 days of failure, it's clear that more of the same failed austerity, privatisation and tax giveaways for the few is not the answer."

And as she prepared to embark on a week-long election bus tour, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said her party was the only one in Scotland capable of thwarting Mr Johnson's "extreme Brexit".

"If Boris Johnson wins a majority in seven days' time, Scotland will be dragged out of Europe within just eight weeks," she said.

"We have seven days to escape Brexit, lock Boris Johnson out of office and put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands."

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